All men are created equal. What you do from there is up to you.
Law 7: Get Others to Do the Work for You, but always take the credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you an aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.
When I was first introduced the the 48 Laws of Power the seventh was the one I had the most trouble accepting. I should really say I have trouble ’employing’ this law, because I’ve spent my entire life as an artist in some capacity and I’m very particular about the integrity and character of what it is I create. Obviously we have rights management and plagiarism laws to ensure against the more blatant ‘stealing’ of ideas, but a lot of what accounts for taking unwarranted credit occurs in more nuanced social situations.
It’s usually in these social circumstances that the average person makes use of Law 7. It’s hardly a law at all considering how naturally humans will use it. In a purely ethical sense it’s kind of a no-brainer; don’t assume credit that you’re undeserving of, but bending the perceptions of what we base our estimates on is where the real art comes in.
On a personal level, my investment in what I create and how that creation is received is what matters most to me. I understand the want for a quick reward, but I’m more concerned with a cheap imitation of what I’ve created debasing the quality and effort it took to create it. For instance, I’ve spent the better part of my career creating products and brands for people with a lot of money who really had no real investment in what it was I was making for them. All they wanted was a “product” that they could promote and sell.
Naturally the quality and integrity of that brand or product had to be something they could get behind (the horse must at least look like it could win), but not be held too personally accountable should that product end up being less than ideal. That’s a nice way of saying most salesmen I’ve known love a widget if it’s something that sells, but they’re never really on the hook for if it sucks – that accountability rests with the creator.
While we were dining after the Man in Demand conference we had discussion about exactly this dynamic. I make an effort to keep my business endeavors as businesslike as possible, but there are brands and things I create that I will personally invest myself into. I have to be very careful of this because it took me a long time (and more than a few failed attempts) to develop the discernment to know what’s worth putting myself into. However, it is especially satisfying for me to travel to another country and see one of my bottles in the duty-free stores at the airport and then be at a bar & grill somewhere on vacation and see one on the backbar.
I explained to the guys that what I create (and own) are not “products” to me. I dislike that term in that sense. I understand the utility of that word to salesmen; product is an easy unit of measure, but to the person creating that thing it’s a measure of the quality of their idea. To refer to that creation as a product impersonalizes that creation and allows the seller to remain at arms distance should the creation be wildly popular or a horrible failure.
That pride of ownership or the abandoning of it is a convenience for someone only invested in promoting that thing, but on some level it is never really theirs with the same responsibility as the one who created it. So ultimately the noncommittal position of selling, promoting, endorsing, etc. becomes an arrangement of convenience since the creator’s idea is where the ‘product’s’ strengths lie – and also where the real accreditation should too.
I’ve occasionally been accused by the ignorant on Twitter of being dependent on The Rational Male for my revenue. Most of my regular readers know what I do for a living and understand why that’s silly, but I don’t think it’s any real secret that what I write here and in the books is something very personal to me. The Rational Male has always been something I’ve invested myself in for obvious reasons, but I’ve always resisted turning it into a brand per se. There wont be any TRM T-Shirts coming in the foreseeable future.
I’m proud to be responsible for what I do here and I will never be beholden to making what I create into a ‘product’ for others to sell. One of the best things about being in the position I am is being anti-fragile enough to write what I believe is important while still keeping myself solvent on what I do apart from it. This allows me a much greater freedom than needing to write something to stay solvent.
You’ll have to forgive my intro here, but it got me to thinking about a larger point I had in mind about how and why a man invests himself in various endeavors in life. I’ve worked hard to get to a point in life where I can say my personal successes (and failures) are my own and not the result of others’ funding or some fortunate dispensation, but rather based on the strength of ideas and responsibly owning them as the creator. Yet another reason I have a problem with Law 7; for as much as you may gain by employing it you rarely develop the insights that failing of your own accord teaches you. Experience teaches harsh, but it teaches best.
I think one of the reasons men find the popularized, feminist, social convention of ‘male privilege‘ so disingenuous is because we want to be appreciated for the sacrifices and perseverance needed to even have what looks like a meager, hand-out, kind of privilege. An atmosphere of default privilege debases what men have honestly invested themselves in. I’ve always held that women fundamentally lack the capacity to appreciate the sacrifices men make to facilitate their feminine-primary reality, but that’s not to discount men’s want to still be appreciated for them.
Whether that’s manifested in financial wealth, personal freedom, status or earned wisdom there’s a fundamental want for an appreciation that is rarely ever forthcoming. One reason I believe many men have a self-fulfilling definition of what it is to be Alpha is because they feel they’ve earned that identification through hard work and playing by a set of rules everyone else should, but get frustrated when their efforts go unappreciated, if not outright exploited. Again, Law 7. It’s galling to see others rewarded for exploiting what you think should be appreciated.
There’s a subset of MGTOW reader/writers who question every man’s motive for doing what it is he does thinking that appeasing women is at the root of every effort. Nothing is a genuinely inspired passion if the end result is women’s affectations. I covered this in Crisis of Motive, but what exactly is a genuine motive in that sense? If the byproduct result of my genuine interests is having sex with gorgeous women and/or a beautiful wife and a couple of well adjusted kids should that then discredit my unique talents and interests in what I do?
What if, after all a man does, he seeks an appreciation that will only rarely be unsolicited on his part? It’s one thing to command respect; it’s quite another to demand it.
In this sense I think what is most egregious about the present state of marriage is that, for the greater part, all of the personal equity a man invests in himself over the course of his lifetime is only a divorce settlement away from being halved for him (if not more so). A man’s personal equity (not to be confused with relational equity) is only one false rape allegation away from ruin. This is the institutionalization of Law 7: that a woman can largely and legally get a man to do all the work and then take (at least half) the credit from his own success – or at least that’s the social expectation.
Granted, a woman can also be on the hook for her lack of character judgement should she pair with a man who becomes a burden to her. There are rare instances when a woman may find herself financially beholden to a bad choice in marriage, but then it’s a situation of that man’s genuine achievements in life and usually an inability to take his burden of performance and make the most of it. For the most part, the role of support falls to the man in societal expectations; women and feminized men are the ones supported.
In fact, it’s a point of shame for men to be supported in such a fashion. Whether that’s warranted of not, it is men who are expected to make more of themselves than what they started with. A needed provisioning from women only puts his achievements’ validity in question. Like it or not, men should avoid the perception of themselves not pulling their own weight.
A while back I was asked why the Burden of Performance should be called a “burden” at all. Should it not be a “challenge” or a “opportunity”? All optimist semantics aside, it is uniquely men whose character is judged on what he started with and what he made of himself.
I’m sure equalist critics will want to cast women into the same performance role, but in a uniquely male sense, it is men who are expected to make more of themselves. To be a ‘man’ is to produce in excess of what you consume – thus having the potential to support a family, an extended family, ensure security, give back to his community and/or reinvest that excess in greater endeavors or passions. While it may be part of the Feminine Imperative’s media campaign to popularize the character of the Strong Independent Woman® there is still room for women to expect the best out of a man while being provided for herself. In other words women have both the option to strive for independence while also retaining the option to be provided for by her husband or an LTR. And failing either of these, they retain an institutional right to Law 7.
Men must be independent resource providers, they must make more of themselves than what they began with, independent of dispensations or special privilege. There is no safety net, no other socially acceptable option to be provided for and still retain his being definitively a ‘man’. One of the hesitations I have with endorsing the Red Pill idea of going ‘Monk Mode’ is less about the isolation and more about the motivation men need to find within themselves to better themselves.
We look down on men who are dependent on women. Whether that’s financially, emotionally or physically, there is no option for dependence. One of the primary complaints professional, educated, independent women bemoan is their inability to pair off with a man of ‘like’ (or above) status. They’ll make euphemisms to characterize the men who would be their ‘equals’ who wont date them, but what they fail to acknowledge is the fundamental, root level truth of men’s burden of performance. For all the high-minded hopes of equalism, women’s Hypergamy still wants to filter for both sexual and provider acceptability in men.
Back in 2012 I based a post on Creative Intelligence from a study about how improvisational skills and creativity factored into a woman’s Hypergamous considerations. I wont quote it in length here, but suffice it to say that there is a measurable difference in how women perceive men with a trained or innate ability to improvise in, and overcome, times of adversity. As might be expected a man with a proven capacity to produce more than he consumes – especially when he’s had to come back from failure or misfortune – tends to be a more attractive mate choice that the man who chances into his own affluence.
Bear in mind that attraction and arousal are different sides of the Hypergamy coin (AF/BB), but many cross-cultural studies suggest that a capacity for creative, innovative, adaptive intelligence has been an evolutionarily selected-for socio-sexual trait in men – much less so in women. That’s important for the MGTOW critic to remember, it’s not as simple as a feminine-primary social order dictating men being slaves to their burden of performance. Just as gender is primarily biological, and not a social construct, neither is women’s evolved, Hypergamous sexual filtering.
Now, with the evolutionary basis of attraction in mind, it’s also important to consider that in our evolutionary past women evolved to take calculated risks in optimizing their Hypergamous sexual selectivity. The utility such Red Pill concepts as social proof, dread, Game, amused mastery, etc. are evidenced because they work with (or sometimes against) this Filter.
From The Curse of Potential:
Hypergamy wants a pre-made Man. If you look at my now infamous comparative SMP curve, one thing you’ll notice is the peak SMV span between the sexes.
Good looking, professionally accomplished, socially matured, has Game, confidence, status, decisive and Just Gets It when it comes to women. Look at any of the commonalities of terms you see in any ‘would like to meet’ portion of a woman’s online dating profile and you’ll begin to understand that hypergamy wants optimization and it wants it now. Because a woman’s capacity to attract her hypergamous ideal decays with every passing year, her urgency demands immediacy with a Man embodying as close to that ideal as possible in the now.
Hypergamy takes a big risk in betting on a man’s future potential to become (or get close to being) her hypergamous ideal, so the preference leans toward seeking out the man who is more made than the next.
The problem with this scenario as you might guess is that women’s SMV depreciates as men’s appreciates — or at least should appreciate. As I outlined above, the same hypergamy that constantly tests and doubts the fitness of a man in seeking its security also limits his potential to consistently satisfy it.
As I’ve mentioned in many prior posts, Hypergamy demands assurances. In fact so paramount is that need for Hypergamous certainty that women have evolved peripheral awareness to be sensitive to psychological and socio-sexual cues that confirm a man’s Hypergamous acceptability to her. Furthermore, so important is this need of assurance that in a society founded on feminine social primacy, the Feminine Imperative will legislate legal institutions to prevent men from misrepresenting themselves as a more optimal Hypergamous choice – as well as legislate penalties that insure women against both Hypergamous fraud and less than optimal mating choices.
As you might guess, the development and evolution of Game is one such psycho-social contingency men refine and use to workaround this Hypergamous filtering; and one that the imperative is still making efforts to restrict. However this doesn’t discount the way men have, in the past, built themselves up based on both social expectations, but also genuine interests and passions. Naturally, if a man is the genuine article and as a byproduct attracts women as a result of it, that might be preferable to ‘faking it till you’re making it’ – but if that’s the route you go be sure that you do in fact ‘make it’ because it’s what you feel passionate about.
The primary reason I wrote Preventive Medicine was to help men avoid having women’s institutionalization of Law 7 ruin their long term personal efforts and achievements. Many critics want to lock horns with me as to when a man’s Peak SMV generally occurs in life. That’s fine, but whether or not you agree with my accuracy in this regard the fact remains that it takes much more concentrated, long term effort to reach that peak than women’s fast-burn peak SMV. I don’t just mean this in terms of his professional status, but also his maturity, his acquired wisdom, his judgement of others’ character, the lessons learn from the bruises of his failures and near misses.
All of this requires an investment in oneself that simply the having of resources handed to you will never satisfy. That personal investment in oneself, as it should, amounts to a lot of internalized equity – an equity that will never be appreciated by women whose Hypergamy is looking for a pre-made man. Hypergamy doesn’t care about the effort and perseverance required to achieve the status you (should) enjoy at your SMV peak.
I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to short term sexual selection, the most wanton sex I had was at the time in my life when I was the poorest. As an underemployed semi-rockstar I used hit it with the best of them, and from a purely sexual perspective, it’s true, criminal and Alpha cads will still fuck 80% of women. But there’s more to the worth of a man than just his notch count. Sexual experience constitutes a very important measure of that, but a man should want more for himself as a man, as a father, as leader, as a creator, even as a cad.
Life experience and the benefits that a man should draw from it are personally valuable. In fact, men feel the equity of these efforts are so valuable that men will commit suicide at 5 times the rate of women; and in particular between the ages of 45-49. Why do you suppose that is? What assurances of long term security does the common man have for himself? What is he faced with when the plan he sets forth for himself in his life is destroyed in one precarious instance?
Once again, using the male deductive logic, it may seem a better option for him to hit the reset button than to be faced with having his life’s equity, his largest investment, his creation, stolen from him. This is a graphic illustration of men’s Burden of Performance, a burden women simply don’t face.